You can create an Impulse Control Log notebook if your goal is to try to distract yourself from self-injury, or you want to limit it, or even try to stop it all together. You can even create one on the notepad on your smartphone or tablet if you are on the go. Do whatever is going to be best for you. Self-injury is a highly judged and misunderstood coping mechanism that many people resort to when dealing with their feelings, emotional pain and trauma for many different reasons. It was a very addictive behavior and can be just as addictive as drugs and alcohol.
The whole topic of self-injury is for another day, but here are the steps to create an Impulse Control Log. It really does help and I know from personal experiences. I have been using the Impulse Control Log of the S.A.F.E. (Self Abuse Finally i) Alternatives App that I purchased for $0.99 on Google Play awhile back.I was skeptical at first, but I found it distracts me long enough, a good majority of the time, for the urge to pass.
All you need is one page at a time for one entry. I am going to put the question that you need to answer in bold along with the examples that the app uses (and my example answers in parentheses.).
So here it goes:
- Time & Date: (6:18am 5/30/17)
- ACTING OUT/SELF INJURY THOUGHT: (e.g. cutting, running away) (cutting, drinking, getting high)
- LOCATION: (livingroom @ home)
- SITUATION: (e.g. Got into a fight with my best friend) (got into a big fight with my boyfriend and I threw the microwave at him)
- FEELING: (angry, scared, crazy, frustrated)
- WHAT WOULD BE THE RESULT OF SELF-INJURY: (e.g. more scars, loss of trust of family and friends) (more scars, feeling relieved, having to explain how I got hurt again.)
- ACTION TAKEN: How were your thoughts/feelings communicated or coped with? (I journaled, I tried deep breathing, I did my impulse control log, I called a friend)
- OUTCOME: (I noticed my urges decreased, I still wanted to cut but didn’t. Or if you don’t know the outcome will play out you can always come back to it later and log in like this: “@6:31am I Cut / @6:31am I feel better…etc..)
**Please Note: Like I mentioned earlier. The Impulse Control Log is Technique I found through S.A.F.E. Alternatives. You can check out more information about them on their website HERE.**
Samantha is the author of "My Bipolar Mind: You're not alone," she is also a freelance writer, blogger, and mental health advocate who runs and manages her own mental health blog MyBipolarMind.com.